Re: the Akosu beads -- Stefany Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Beadman Post Reply
05/10/2021, 17:53:13

Hello Steff,

These questions and many more are answered in our book—in which I describe an entirely new paradigm about beadmaking, and why old beads from 150 years ago were very different from current powderglass beads.

A lot of this is technical—and there would be no way to verbally present this in a 40-minute presentation. But, in the book, it is copiously described. My synthesis says that these beads were made in the open air on an iron mandrel—providing access to make any number of conventional alterations (as may happen in furnace work or lampwork). Old [owderglass beads differ from most other decorated beads, in the manner in which the decorations were made and applied (that I refer to as "off-bead trailing.") In my lecture discussion, the operative word, used several times was "hot-working." I dispense with the need to exploit a mold (as is conventional with present-day powderglass beads).

I think the alteration of bead shapes was pursued by rolling against a flat surface (similar to marvering), and by the use of a hand tool to compress and shape the ends. I don't see a need for shaped troughs or forms.

By the way, "akosu" is a spelling that fell out of favor nearly thirty years ago. (I don't know who changed it.) But the present presentation is "akoso."


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